Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6023700 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/877,614
Publication dateFeb 8, 2000
Filing dateJun 17, 1997
Priority dateJun 17, 1997
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2293301A1, CA2293301C, CN1115642C, CN1269034A, DE69840724D1, EP1013068A2, EP1013068A4, EP1013068B1, US7116766, US7508924, US8031846, US20050002503, US20070081642, US20090182828, WO1998058491A2, WO1998058491A3
Publication number08877614, 877614, US 6023700 A, US 6023700A, US-A-6023700, US6023700 A, US6023700A
InventorsStephen J. H. Owens, Michael S. Finney, Michael L. Snider, Randall S. Wright, James W. Paynter, Robin R. Bard
Original AssigneeCranberry Properties, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electronic mail distribution system for integrated electronic communication
US 6023700 A
Abstract
A system is disclosed for integrated electronic mail, voice mail, and fax mail messaging. A common message format is defined for use by an electronic mail service and a telecommunications service so electronic mail messages that may include voice and fax mail attachments may be exchanged between the services. Message senders and receivers may choose from a variety of filter and forward options that allow them to manage their communications and specify a preference for receiving messages at the electronic mail or telecommunications service. Forwarding and conversion of messages is performed automatically. The options are used to define a set of rules to be applied to inbound and outbound messages so that messages are sent and received in accordance with the preferences of the senders and receivers.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(12)
What is claimed is:
1. An electronic mail gateway for facilitating cross-media messaging between an electronic mail messaging system and a telecommunications switch, comprising:
a first host computer in communication with said electronic mail messaging system, said first host computer adapted to store and forward a plurality of electronic mail messages;
an electronic mail distributor at said first host computer for selectively altering said electronic mail messages for routing to a plurality of electronic mailboxes associated with said telecommunications switch; and
a second host computer in communication with said telecommunications switch, said second host computer adapted to receive electronic mail messages from said electronic mailboxes associated with said telecommunications switch.
2. The gateway of claim 1 wherein said electronic mail messaging system is part of an online information service.
3. The gateway of claim 1 wherein said electronic mail distributor selectively alters said electronic mail messages for routing to said electronic mailboxes in association with said telecommunications switch in accordance with electronic mail message recipient profiles.
4. The gateway of claim 1 wherein said electronic mail distributor selectively alters said electronic mail messages in accordance with a common message format.
5. The gateway of claim 1 wherein said electronic mail distributor selectively alters said electronic mail messages by concatenating new routing information to certain ones of said plurality of electronic mail messages.
6. The electronic mail distributor of claim 5 wherein new routing information comprises a sender field identifying an electronic mail service provider and a receiver field identifying a telecommunications service provider.
7. An electronic mail gateway for facilitating cross-media messaging between an electronic mail messaging system and a telecommunications switch, comprising:
a first host computer in communication with said telecommunications switch, said first host computer adapted to store and forward a plurality of electronic mail messages with voice mail or fax mail attachments;
a second host computer in communication with said electronic mail messaging system, said second host computer adapted to receive said electronic mail messages with said attachments from said first host computer;
an electronic mail distributor for distributing said electronic mail messages with said attachments to a plurality of electronic mailboxes; and
a graphical user interface for use by recipients of said electronic mail messages, said graphical user interface adapted for communication with said electronic mailboxes and comprising an audio player for playing said voice mail attachments and a fax viewer for displaying said fax mail attachments.
8. The gateway of claim 7 wherein said electronic mail messaging system is part of an online information service.
9. A method for forwarding electronic mail messages to a telecommunications switch comprising the steps of:
(a) accepting an electronic mail message in accordance with a first format from an electronic messaging system;
(b) locating a profile associated with a recipient of said electronic mail message, said profile including forwarding instructions;
(c) altering routine information for said electronic mail message in accordance with said forwarding instructions for routing to an electronic mailbox in association with said telecommunications switch; and
(d) forwarding said altered electronic mail message to said telecommunications switch.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein said electronic mail message is altered in accordance with a common message format.
11. The method of claim 9 wherein step (c) includes concatenating new routing information to said electronic mail message.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein said new routing information comprises a sender field identifying an electronic mail service provider and a receiver field identifying a telecommunications service provider.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to communication technologies such as electronic mail (e-mail), voice mail and facsimile (fax) mail messaging. Particularly, the present invention relates to an electronic mail gateway for integrating communications to facilitate access to electronic mail, voice mail, and fax mail messages.

2. Description of the Related Art

Communications technology today allows individuals to send messages to one another from virtually any location in the world at virtually any time of day. The variety of communication modes (e.g., telephone, computer) and communication media (e.g., e-mail, voice mail, fax mail) available today allows individuals to choose one appropriate for the circumstances.

In general message senders today may select from a variety of communication media while message receivers are limited to the option selected by the message sender. If the sender uses the telephone to leave a voice mail message, the message receiver is required use a telephone to retrieve the voice mail message. If the sender uses a computer to send an e-mail message, the message receiver is required to use a computer to retrieve the e-mail message. Some days, the message receiver may be unable to retrieve a message because the available communication mode may not be used to retrieve the message. In other instances, even if a message receiver has access to a telephone, a computer, or some other communication device, the receiver may prefer using one device over the others. For example, the receiver may spend most of his working day on a computer and may therefore, prefer to retrieve all of his inbound messages--regardless of the originating communication medium--using his computer.

The inability to alter the message medium after a message has been sent (or to use a communication mode other than the one selected by the sender) unnecessarily burdens both message senders and message receivers. Senders and receivers may be required to select a medium prior to communicating so the parties are assured the communication will be received in a timely manner. If circumstances for the receiver change at any point following selection of the medium and the receiver is unable to notify the sender of the change, the receiver may risk missing the sender's communication because the message may not be accessible using an alternate communication mode. In addition, the inability of a message receiver to retrieve all inbound messages using a single communication mode or device results in additional burdens. Receivers are inconvenienced when they are required to switch, for example, between the telephone to retrieve voice mail messages and the computer to retrieve e-mail messages.

Technologies have been introduced that address the inconveniences imposed by widespread use of different messaging media. For example, Text-To-Speech (TTS) technology allows electronic text messages to be heard by a message receiver. However, message receivers are generally required to integrate this technology into their own customized telecommunications/computer environments. Messages in differing media (e.g., e-mail, voice mail, fax mail) have not been seamlessly integrated so a message receiver may simply choose a preferred messaging medium and have all incoming or inbound messages processed accordingly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses the limitations in current communications technology that require receivers to retrieve messages in accordance with a predetermined communication medium or in accordance with the communication mode selected by senders. The present invention is a seamlessly integrated communications system that combines e-mail, voice mail, and fax mail messaging. The cross-media messaging system of the present invention allows messages to be exchanged between electronic mail and telecommunications service providers so all inbound messages-regardless of the originating communication medium--may be retrieved by a message receiver using a telephone or computer.

The present invention is an electronic mail gateway that allows electronic messages to be exchanged between an electronic mail service and a telecommunications service. Messages forwarded from the electronic mail service to the telecommunications service may be retrieved using a telephone. Using a standard telephone, receivers may listen to voice mail messages, redirect fax mail to a fax machine, or "listen" to e-mail messages that originated as text messages and have been forwarded from an electronic mail service to a telecommunications service switch. Messages may also be forwarded from the telecommunications service to the electronic mail service. Using a computer and modem, users may playback voice mail messages, view fax mail messages, or read e-mail messages that originated as voice or fax messages. Messages and/or message attachments which are exchanged using electronic mail messaging technology are automatically reformatted or converted into the appropriate format (e.g., xing protocol, TIFF format.) Message reformatting or conversion is performed automatically at a telecommunications or electronic mail service provider that delivers inbound messages so message receivers need only specify a preferred communication medium to take advantage of the features and functionality of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a system organization diagram of the primary components for a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flow chart of the primary steps of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation of a common message format for a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

The present invention is a sophisticated computer system that facilitates communications between senders and receivers of e-mail, voice mail, and fax mail messages. The system is comprised of a collection of application programs and services hosted on different computers (or servers) and various devices that are interconnected by an infrastructure or gateway that supports electronic mail communications between the participating entities. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the application programs and services as well as the supporting hardware components of the present invention may be developed and maintained by different service providers who cooperate with one another to provide the features and functionality of the present invention. Using this arrangement, each service provider may focus on the development of technology suited to its particular area of expertise. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the features and functionality may be developed and maintained by a single service provider or access service. The service provider or access service on which the message receiver relies for delivery of voice mail, e-mail, and fax mail messages knows the receiver's preferences as defined in a set of rules stored in a message receiver or user profile database so all messages may be delivered to the receiver in accordance with his or her preferences. The ability to exchange electronic messages between service providers based on rules defined in accordance with user preferences is unique to the present invention.

The present invention offers a variety of features to both "senders" and "receivers" of messages. Senders are users who address communications to message receivers. Senders use a particular communication mode (e.g., telephone, computer/modem) to send messages. Initially, messages are routed to and stored in a mailbox compatible with the sender's communication mode/medium For example, messages sent via the telephone may be stored in a voice mailbox. Messages sent via a computer and modem may be stored in an electronic mailbox.

Receivers are the users to whom the individual voice mail, fax mail, and e-mail messages are addressed. Receivers are, preferably, subscribers or users of the telecommunications and/or electronic mail service. Electronic mail services may be provided by an online information service such as the CompuServe Information Service. An online information service such as the CompuServe Information Service may provide Internet access and access to proprietary databases in addition to providing electronic mail services. The information service may be comprised of large number of network nodes or servers that located throughout the world and that are capable of communicating with each other in order to create a global network.

Connection software provided by the electronic mail service allows message receivers to connect to and communicate with the service. Preferably, the connection software is embodied in a graphical user interface that allows users to interact with the service using graphical displays and a pointing device such as a mouse. CompuServe's WinCIM Version 3.0 is an example of connection software that supports access to and interaction with an electronic mail service. To communicate with the service, a subscriber or user establishes a connection with one of the nodes or servers that belongs to the information service.

In addition to providing access to and inter acting with an electronic mail service, the connection software allows a user to define rules or filter and forward instructions for managing incoming (inbound) and outgoing (outbound) messages. In addition to other rules or filter and forward instructions, a message receiver may indicate a preferred communication medium by selecting options that define one or more rules to be applied automatically by an electronic mail service provider to inbound messages. For example, a receiver may, by selecting certain options, define a rule to request that messages initiated via the telephone be stored in a voice mailbox and forwarded to an e-mail mailbox for later viewing. Alternatively, a receiver may, by selecting certain options, define a rule to request that messages initiated via a computer/modem (i.e., e-mail messages) be stored in an e-mail mailbox and forwarded to a voice mailbox for later retrieval.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a message receiver may interact with a telephone voice response unit to select options that define rules to be applied to incoming voice and fax mail messages. The rules may be stored in a database at the telecommunications service and applied to incoming messages.

As may be apparent, user preferences may be selected and stored in a database at either the electronic mail service or the telecommunications service. As messages addressed to the receiver arrive at the telecommunications or electronic mail service (either of which facilitates delivery of the message), the receiver's rules are applied by an electronic mail distributor or other message distributor so all forwarding and conversion of messages (if necessary) may be performed automatically. The receiver then uses the appropriate communication mode (e.g., telephone, computer) to retrieve the inbound messages. For example, a receiver may dial into a voice mailbox with a standard telephone and listen to voice mail messages, redirect fax mail to a local fax machine, or "listen" to e-mail messages. Alternatively, a user may dial into an e-mail mailbox with a computer and playback voice mail messages, view fax mail messages, and read e-mail messages.

Referring to FIG. 1, the present invention is an electronic mail gateway that facilitates the exchange of electronic messages between an electronic mail service 10 and a telecommunications service 12 to support cross-media messaging. Messages are exchanged according to a common message format. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, messages between the electronic mail service 10 and telecommunications service 12 are electronic mail messages that may include voice mail or fax mail attachments. Messages are exchanged between the services based on preferences of users of the system. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention in which electronic mail messages are forwarded to a telecommunications service, an electronic mail distributor 14 located at the electronic mail service 10 examines an incoming message 16 from a user (i.e., message sender) 18 of the electronic mail service 10 who may use dial-up access 20 to send a message to another user (i.e., message receiver) of the service. Alternatively, incoming messages 16 may be forwarded to the service from another electronic mail service or the Internet. The electronic mail distributor 14 which, preferably, is an application program that operates on a server located at the electronic mail service determines the receiver of the message and accesses a Message Receiver Profile Database 22 to determine whether the receiver of the message has rule 24 in his or her profile that indicates the message receiver would like the message to be forwarded to the telecommunications service 12 for later retrieval via the telephone. If the receiver has specified a preference (via a rule in his or her message receiver profile) for receiving incoming messages at the telecommunications service 12, the incoming message 16 is modified by the electronic mail distributor 14 to include telecommunications service routing information 26. The telecommunications service routing information is preferably stored in a Telecommunications Service Routing Information Database 28 which is accessible by the electronic mail distributor 14. For example, information may be stored in service name-routing information pairs within the database 28. A message receiver's profile may include the name of a telecommunications to which electronic mail messages are to be forwarded. The Telecommunications Service Routing Information Database 28 may include the service name-routing information pair so that the distributor may perform a look-up in the database based on the service name found in the message receiver's profile 22.

The modified electronic message 30 is then forward by the electronic mail distributor 14 to an electronic mailbox 34 in communication with an electronic mail service network node 32 at the electronic mail service 10 and that has been created specifically for the telecommunications service 12. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, an electronic mail service network node 38 located at the telecommunications service 12 periodically polls the electronic mail service network node 32 at the electronic mail service 10 to determine whether the telecommunications service mailbox 34 contains any modified messages to be forwarded to the telecommunications service 12. The polling operation and the exchange of messages between the services, preferably, is performed using an X.25 link 36 that has been established between the services. Modified messages 30 from the telecommunications service mailbox 34 may then be transmitted from the electronic mail service network node at the electronic mail service 32 via the X.25 link 36 to the electronic service network node at the telecommunications service 38.

Once at the telecommunications service 12, the incoming messages are examined to identify the individual message receivers. Each message receiver's personal messages may then be stored in an electronic mailbox 40 located at the electronic mail service network node 38. A message may then be made available through the telephone switch 46 at the telecommunications service 12 and the message 30 may be retrieved by a message receiver via the telephone. When the message receiver calls the telephone switch 46 to retrieve a message, the telephone switch 46 communicates with the electronic mail service network node 38 via a switch node 44 connected via a local area network 42. A text-to-speech operation performed at the telecommunications service allows the electronic mail message to be heard by the message receiver when he or she calls the switch to hear the message. Alternatively, the message receiver may arrange to receive the electronic mail message at a fax machine specified by the receiver.

Alternatively, if the message receiver does not specify a preference for receiving the incoming message at the telecommunications service, the electronic mail distributor 14 based on other preferences or actions of the message receiver may forward the electronic message 16 to the receiver's mailbox 48 at the electronic mail service 10 or to one or more electronic mailboxes 50 designated for use by other members of the electronic mail service 10. Finally, the message 16 may be forwarded to Internet or another electronic mail service 52.

Referring to FIG. 2, a flow chart of the primary steps of the present invention is shown for a preferred embodiment of the present invention in which electronic mail messages are forwarded from an electronic mail service to a telecommunications service. The steps or operations shown in FIG. 2, preferably, are performed by the electronic mail distributor of the present invention. When the electronic mail distributor receives an incoming message, it first examines the message receiver preferences or filter and forward instructions as defined in the message receiver's profile stored in the message receiver profile database 60. Preferably, the incoming message is comprised of a message header that includes an identifier for the message receiver or recipient and text for the message. The electronic mail distributor may then lookup the receiver's profile based on the identifier in the header of the message. In the next step, the electronic mail distributor determines, based on information or instructions stored in the profile, whether the message receiver wants the electronic mail message to be forwarded to the telecommunications service 62. If the message receiver does not want the electronic mail message to be forwarded to the telecommunications switch, the electronic mail distributor arranges to forward the message to the message receiver's mailbox located at the electronic mail service, to other service subscribers, or to the Internet or another electronic mail service 64. If the message receiver wants the electronic mail message to be forwarded to the telecommunications switch, the electronic mail distributor modifies the message to include routing information for the telecommunications service electronic mailbox located at the electronic mail service 66. The message is then forwarded to the telecommunications service mailbox 68. Once at the telecommunications service mailbox, messages stored in the mailbox are sent to the electronic mail service network node located at the telecommunications service when the electronic mail service network node located at the telecommunications service polls the mailbox 70. Once at the telecommunications service, the message receiver may retrieve the message via the telephone.

Referring to FIG. 3, a common message format for messages exchanged between the electronic mail service and telecommunications service is shown. Preferably, the message is comprised of an envelope 80 and a body 82. The body of the common message format is preferably the original message sent by the message sender. The original message is preferably comprised in part of a message header 84 that identifies the subject of the original message, the recipient of the original message, the sender of the original message, and the date and time the original message was sent. The original message also contains the text of the original message 86. In the common message format, the envelope 80, preferably, is comprised of a message header 88 that includes several fields with information that allow the message to be processed at either the telecommunications service or the electronic mail service. A first field 90 may identify the telecommunications or electronic mail service provider to which the message may be forwarded. The message header of the envelope 88 may also include a field with a subject line 92 that refers to the telecommunications or electronic mail service as well as a field with the date and time the original message was modified 94. Finally, the message header of the envelope 88 may include a field that identifies the message sender 96 as the telecommunications or electronic mail service rather than the original message sender.

Modifying the original message to include an new envelope allows electronic messages to be exchanged between an electronic mail service and a telecommunications service. Messages are exchanged between mailboxes designated for use by the services. One or more distributors located at each service route electronic messages to a central repository for the service so they may be exchanged between the services. After messages arrive at the designated service, they may be sent to and stored in mailboxes associated with individual message receivers for later retrieval by the message receivers. Upon retrieval messages may be converted as needed by additional equipment located at the service and/or at the message receiver's site.

The common message format and the use of the central message repository for each service facilitates the exchange of messages between the electronic mail service and the telecommunications service. The common format is based on known e-mail formats so that messages may be forwarded from the electronic mail service to the telecommunications service, and vice-versa, using standard electronic mail protocols. Using this approach, the telecommunications service appears to the electronic mail service to be part of the electronic mail service global network and another member of the service to whom messages may be forwarded. The telecommunications service may accept all types of messages, including multipart and binary messages, that the electronic mail service is capable of processing. For example, messages processed by the electronic mail service and consequently, the telecommunications service, may include attachments such as voice mail attachments (e.g., xing protocol) and fax mail attachments (e.g., TIFF files). The equipment at the telecommunications service may then be adapted to understand the common message format so that electronic mail messages comprised originally of text may be processed at the telecommunications switch. For example, the original text may be converted through a text-to-speech process so that a message receiver may hear the original message over the telephone. The original text may also be converted to a TIFF image so that the message may be processed through a fax machine.

Using the common message format approach, the telecommunications service appears to the electronic mail service to be another electronic mail service from which electronic mail messages also may be received. Voice mail messages that originate at the telecommunications service may be forwarded to the electronic mail service in accordance with an electronic mail message that has an attached audio file containing the original voice mail message. Computer users may then use connection software to retrieve electronic mail messages including those electronic mail messages associated with audio files. The connection software, which may be equipped with an audio file player, may then, at the user's request, play the voice mail message for the computer user. Alternatively, fax mail messages that originate at the telecommunications service may be forwarded to the electronic mail service in accordance with an electronic mail message that has an attached TIFF file containing the original fax mail message. Computer users may then use connection software to retrieve electronic mail messages including those electronic mail messages associated with fax files. The fax file may be viewed using a fax viewer provided with the connection software.

Although the invention is described in detail with specific reference to a single preferred embodiment and certain alternatives, it is not limited to that particular embodiment or alternatives. For example, the configuration of the components that provide the features and functionality of the present invention may change and fall within the scope and spirit of the present invention. The scope of the present invention is defined by the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4837798 *Jun 2, 1986Jun 6, 1989American Telephone And Telegraph CompanyCommunication system having unified messaging
US4935954 *Dec 28, 1988Jun 19, 1990At&T CompanyAutomated message retrieval system
US4951196 *May 4, 1988Aug 21, 1990Supply Tech, Inc.Method and apparatus for electronic data interchange
US5138653 *Sep 6, 1988Aug 11, 1992Patrick Le ClercqSystem for automatic notification of the receipt of messages in an electronic mail system
US5146488 *Feb 14, 1990Sep 8, 1992Fujitsu LimitedMulti-media response control system
US5193110 *Oct 9, 1990Mar 9, 1993Boston Technology, IncorporatedIntegrated services platform for telephone communication system
US5317628 *Dec 2, 1992May 31, 1994Efrat Future Technology Ltd.Message management system
US5333266 *Mar 27, 1992Jul 26, 1994International Business Machines CorporationMethod and apparatus for message handling in computer systems
US5349636 *Aug 2, 1993Sep 20, 1994Centigram Communications CorporationInterface system and method for interconnecting a voice message system and an interactive voice response system
US5438611 *May 23, 1994Aug 1, 1995Ntp IncorporatedElectronic mail system with RF communications to mobile processors originating from outside of the electronic mail system and method of operation thereof
US5483580 *Mar 19, 1993Jan 9, 1996Octel Communications CorporationMethods and apparatus for non-simultaneous transmittal and storage of voice message and digital text or image
US5487100 *May 17, 1994Jan 23, 1996Motorola, Inc.Electronic mail message delivery system
US5497373 *Mar 22, 1994Mar 5, 1996Ericsson Messaging Systems Inc.Multi-media interface
US5530740 *Jun 7, 1995Jun 25, 1996Contigram Communications CorporationSystem and method for integrating voice, facsimile and electronic mail data through a personal computer
US5559611 *Dec 5, 1995Sep 24, 1996Audiofax, Inc.Facsimile store and forward system with local interface
US5608786 *Feb 13, 1995Mar 4, 1997Alphanet Telecom Inc.Communication system
US5608874 *Apr 8, 1995Mar 4, 1997Autoentry Online, Inc.System and method for automatic data file format translation and transmission having advanced features
US5633916 *Dec 30, 1994May 27, 1997Unisys CorporationUniversal messaging service using single voice grade telephone line within a client/server architecture
US5646981 *Jan 10, 1995Jul 8, 1997Lucent Technologies Inc.Arrangement for automated delivery of voice-mail messages for software processes
US5647002 *Sep 1, 1995Jul 8, 1997Lucent Technologies Inc.Synchronization of mailboxes of different types
US5675507 *Apr 28, 1995Oct 7, 1997Bobo, Ii; Charles R.Message storage and delivery system
US5742668 *Jun 6, 1995Apr 21, 1998Bell Communications Research, Inc.Communication system
US5758088 *Jul 24, 1997May 26, 1998Compuserve IncorporatedSystem for transmitting messages, between an installed network and wireless device
US5765170 *Dec 13, 1996Jun 9, 1998Minolta Camera Kabushiki KaishaComputer program
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6157945 *Jul 1, 1998Dec 5, 2000Ricoh Company, Ltd.Digital communication device and method including a routing function
US6219694 *May 29, 1998Apr 17, 2001Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for pushing information from a host system to a mobile data communication device having a shared electronic address
US6230003 *Apr 16, 1998May 8, 2001Avaya Technology Corp.Telephone calling card having a wireless receiver for receiving notification of arrived messages
US6256666 *Jul 14, 1998Jul 3, 2001International Business Machines Corp.Method and system for remotely managing electronic mail attachments
US6269094 *Jan 8, 1998Jul 31, 2001AlcatelTelephone terminal and method of telephone communication between a calling terminal and a called terminal for optimizing a cost reduction of calls
US6311210 *Dec 17, 1998Oct 30, 2001At&T CorporationMethod and apparatus for sending an electronic mail message to a receiving party
US6351316 *Jun 25, 1998Feb 26, 2002Matsushita Graphic Communication Systems, Inc.Internet facsimile apparatus and information terminal device
US6360272May 28, 1999Mar 19, 2002Palm, Inc.Method and apparatus for maintaining a unified view of multiple mailboxes
US6373926Sep 17, 1998Apr 16, 2002At&T Corp.Centralized message service apparatus and method
US6389457Feb 13, 2001May 14, 2002Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for pushing information from a host system to a mobile data communication device
US6400810 *Jul 20, 1999Jun 4, 2002Ameritech CorporationMethod and system for selective notification of E-mail messages
US6401113Feb 13, 2001Jun 4, 2002Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for pushing information from a host system to a mobile data communication device
US6411393 *Aug 11, 1998Jun 25, 2002Ricoh Technology Research, Inc.Apparatus and method of automatically delivering E-mail stored in mail server to arbitrary facsimile apparatus
US6438585Jan 16, 2001Aug 20, 2002Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for redirecting message attachments between a host system and a mobile data communication device
US6441916 *Feb 1, 2000Aug 27, 2002Matsushita Graphic Communication Systems, Inc.Internet facsimile apparatus and E-mail communication method
US6442250 *Aug 22, 2000Aug 27, 2002Bbnt Solutions LlcSystems and methods for transmitting messages to predefined groups
US6463463Aug 28, 2000Oct 8, 2002Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for pushing calendar event messages from a host system to a mobile data communication device
US6463464Mar 17, 2000Oct 8, 2002Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for pushing information from a host system to a mobile data communication device
US6483899 *Jun 19, 1998Nov 19, 2002At&T CorpVoice messaging system
US6493696Apr 13, 2000Dec 10, 2002Avaya Technology Corp.Message forwarding of multiple types of messages based upon a criteria
US6519327 *Jul 30, 1999Feb 11, 2003Lucent Technologies Inc.System and method for selectively retrieving messages stored on telephony and data networks
US6584564 *Apr 25, 2000Jun 24, 2003Sigaba CorporationSecure e-mail system
US6631368 *Dec 28, 1998Oct 7, 2003Nortel Networks LimitedMethods and apparatus for operating on non-text messages
US6631400 *Apr 13, 2000Oct 7, 2003Distefano, Iii Thomas L.Statement regarding federally sponsored research or development
US6636890 *Nov 28, 1997Oct 21, 2003International Business Machines CorporationStand-alone internet mailbox for cable subscribers
US6643684 *Oct 8, 1998Nov 4, 2003International Business Machines CorporationSender- specified delivery customization
US6654448Apr 22, 2002Nov 25, 2003At&T Corp.Voice messaging system
US6654787 *Dec 31, 1998Nov 25, 2003Brightmail, IncorporatedMethod and apparatus for filtering e-mail
US6658456 *Sep 22, 1998Dec 2, 2003Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd.Electric mail transferring apparatus and electric mail transferring method
US6687508Sep 8, 2000Feb 3, 2004Christopher Brian DwyerSystem and method for providing numeric-only paging service with wireless telephone service
US6708221Sep 20, 2000Mar 16, 2004Visto CorporationSystem and method for globally and securely accessing unified information in a computer network
US6732101Jun 15, 2000May 4, 2004Zix CorporationSecure message forwarding system detecting user's preferences including security preferences
US6760704 *Sep 29, 2000Jul 6, 2004Intel CorporationSystem for generating speech and non-speech audio messages
US6772153 *Aug 11, 2000Aug 3, 2004International Business Machines CorporationMethod and apparatus to provide concurrency control over objects without atomic operations on non-shared objects
US6775705 *Aug 6, 1998Aug 10, 2004Canon Kabushiki KaishaImage communication system using electronic mail and control method therefor
US6804336Jan 10, 2003Oct 12, 2004Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.Method for e-mail fax
US6834312Sep 27, 2000Dec 21, 2004Cadopener.Com 11CMethod and apparatus for delivery of data over a network
US6842775Aug 29, 2000Jan 11, 2005International Business Machines CorporationMethod and system for modifying mail rules
US6847989Aug 29, 2000Jan 25, 2005International Business Machines CorporationMethod and system for creating mail rules from existing mail
US6892251Jun 18, 2001May 10, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.System and method for walk-up printing
US6898623Jun 16, 2000May 24, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P.Simplified configuration of an internet-enabled device
US6909518Jun 18, 2001Jun 21, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.System and method for configuring a printing system
US6922255 *Jan 26, 1999Jul 26, 2005Brother Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaInternet facsimile device
US6938065 *Dec 12, 2000Aug 30, 2005Ericsson Inc.System and method for controlling inclusion of email content
US6947728 *Oct 11, 2001Sep 20, 2005Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Mobile phone with music reproduction function, music data reproduction method by mobile phone with music reproduction function, and the program thereof
US6965920 *Jul 12, 2001Nov 15, 2005Peter Henrik PedersenProfile responsive electronic message management system
US6975419Jun 18, 2001Dec 13, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.System and method for mobile printing
US6993561Jan 10, 2002Jan 31, 2006Palmsource, Inc.Method and apparatus for maintaining a unified view of multiple mailboxes
US7035904Sep 28, 2001Apr 25, 2006Bellsouth Intellectual Property CorporationText message delivery features for an interactive wireless network
US7054906 *Dec 29, 2000May 30, 2006Levosky Michael PSystem and method for controlling and organizing Email
US7076528Jul 11, 2001Jul 11, 2006Symbol Technologies, Inc.System and method for communicating messages between a host computer and a designated device
US7106473Jul 22, 2003Sep 12, 2006Canon Kabushiki KaishaCommunication system and communication apparatus building the system
US7107042 *Sep 28, 2001Sep 12, 2006Bellsouth Intellectual Property Corp.Text message delivery features for an interactive wireless network
US7116766Jul 16, 2004Oct 3, 2006Cranberry Properties, LlcElectronic mail distribution system for integrated electronic communications
US7117210 *Sep 13, 2001Oct 3, 2006Danger, Inc.System and method of distributing a file by email
US7117248Sep 28, 2001Oct 3, 2006Bellsouth Intellectual Property CorporationText message delivery features for an interactive wireless network
US7133142Jul 19, 2001Nov 7, 2006Canon Kabushiki KaishaInformation providing system and apparatus and methods therefor
US7159039 *Aug 31, 2000Jan 2, 2007Verizon Laboratories Inc.Systems and methods for providing in-band and out-band message processing
US7181495 *Mar 11, 2002Feb 20, 2007Sbc Properties, L.P.Method and system for filtering notification of e-mail messages
US7209955Apr 10, 2000Apr 24, 2007Research In Motion LimitedNotification system and method for a mobile data communication device
US7212302Jun 28, 2002May 1, 2007Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd.Internet facsimile apparatus and E-mail communication method
US7228335Feb 19, 2002Jun 5, 2007Goodcontacts Research Ltd.Method of automatically populating contact information fields for a new contract added to an electronic contact database
US7251640Sep 14, 2004Jul 31, 2007Philippe BaumardMethod and system for measuring interest levels of digital messages
US7266586Nov 4, 2005Sep 4, 2007Access Systems Americas, Inc.Method and apparatus for maintaining a unified view of multiple mailboxes
US7274926 *Aug 17, 2000Sep 25, 2007Robert Bosch GmbhMethod and device for transmitting messages
US7277549Nov 25, 2003Oct 2, 2007Secure Data In Motion, Inc.System for implementing business processes using key server events
US7280239 *Jul 27, 1998Oct 9, 2007Canon Kabushiki KaishaCommunication system and communication apparatus building the system
US7325127Nov 26, 2002Jan 29, 2008Secure Data In Motion, Inc.Security server system
US7334020Sep 20, 2002Feb 19, 2008Goodcontacts Research Ltd.Automatic highlighting of new electronic message address
US7346659 *Jul 19, 2001Mar 18, 2008Canon Kabushiki KaishaInformation providing system and apparatus and methods therefor
US7376702May 2, 2002May 20, 2008Danger, Inc.System and method for processing message attachments
US7376835Nov 25, 2003May 20, 2008Secure Data In Motion, Inc.Implementing nonrepudiation and audit using authentication assertions and key servers
US7391314Oct 31, 2005Jun 24, 2008Honeywell International Inc.Event communication system for providing user alerts
US7441003 *Nov 21, 2000Oct 21, 2008Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.Payment based electronic mail printing system utilizing search criteria
US7475256Jul 8, 2003Jan 6, 2009Zix CorporationSecure message forwarding system detecting user's preferences including security preferences
US7487157Oct 14, 2002Feb 3, 2009Lars AppelstalMethod and system for delivering a message
US7508924Sep 28, 2006Mar 24, 2009Cranberry Properties, LlcElectronic mail distribution system for integrated electronic communications
US7574201Aug 2, 2007Aug 11, 2009Cvon Innovations Ltd.System for authentication of network usage
US7613449Mar 14, 2008Nov 3, 2009Cvon Innovations LimitedMessaging system for managing communications resources
US7624110Dec 11, 2003Nov 24, 2009Symantec CorporationMethod, system, and computer program product for security within a global computer network
US7640427Jun 17, 2003Dec 29, 2009Pgp CorporationSystem and method for secure electronic communication in a partially keyless environment
US7643816Jul 30, 2008Jan 5, 2010Cvon Innovations LimitedMessaging system for managing communications resources
US7653064Dec 17, 2007Jan 26, 2010Cvon Innovations LimitedMessaging system and service
US7653573 *Dec 17, 2004Jan 26, 2010Accenture LlpCustomer messaging service
US7660862Aug 1, 2007Feb 9, 2010Cvon Innovations LimitedApparatus and method of tracking access status of store-and-forward messages
US7685036Oct 13, 2000Mar 23, 2010Ubs Financial Services, Inc.System and method for delivering a financial message
US7685102Apr 18, 2002Mar 23, 2010Avaya Inc.Methods and apparatus for operating on non-text messages
US7697944May 14, 2004Apr 13, 2010Cvon Innovations LimitedMethod and apparatus for distributing messages to mobile recipients
US7702738Mar 14, 2008Apr 20, 2010Cvon Innovations LimitedApparatus and method of selecting a recipient of a message on the basis of data identifying access to previously transmitted messages
US7711667Jul 30, 2007May 4, 2010Philippe BaumardMethod and system for measuring interest levels of digital messages
US7730149Aug 2, 2007Jun 1, 2010Cvon Innovations LimitedInteractive communications system
US7739334 *Mar 17, 2000Jun 15, 2010Visto CorporationSystem and method for automatically forwarding email and email events via a computer network to a server computer
US7739337Jun 20, 2005Jun 15, 2010Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for grouping spam email messages
US7752166Nov 15, 2002Jul 6, 2010Visto CorporationSystem and methods for asynchronous synchronization
US7756511Apr 25, 2005Jul 13, 2010At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.Text message delivery features for an interactive wireless network
US7764771Dec 24, 2003Jul 27, 2010Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Method of recording invention disclosures
US7774419Mar 14, 2008Aug 10, 2010Cvon Innovations Ltd.Interactive communications system
US7814132 *Oct 25, 2001Oct 12, 2010Minolta Co., Ltd.File management apparatus and file management method
US7831667May 13, 2004Nov 9, 2010Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for filtering email spam using email noise reduction
US7853563Aug 31, 2005Dec 14, 2010Seven Networks, Inc.Universal data aggregation
US7869580 *Jun 27, 2005Jan 11, 2011Panasonic CorporationMobile phone with music reproduction function, music data reproduction method by mobile phone with music reproduction function, and the program thereof
US7882193Apr 4, 2002Feb 1, 2011Symantec CorporationApparatus and method for weighted and aging spam filtering rules
US7917468Sep 16, 2005Mar 29, 2011Seven Networks, Inc.Linking of personal information management data
US7917505Oct 28, 2007Mar 29, 2011Seven Networks, Inc.Methods for publishing content
US7930352 *Dec 22, 2004Apr 19, 2011At&T Intellectual Property Ii, L.P.System and method for sorting electronic communications
US7930355Mar 14, 2008Apr 19, 2011CVON Innnovations LimitedInteractive communications system
US7941490May 11, 2005May 10, 2011Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for detecting spam in email messages and email attachments
US7961110Jun 23, 2008Jun 14, 2011Honeywell International, Inc.Event communication system for providing user alerts
US8010609Jun 20, 2005Aug 30, 2011Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for maintaining reputation lists of IP addresses to detect email spam
US8024416Sep 4, 2007Sep 20, 2011Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for bundling information
US8031846Mar 20, 2009Oct 4, 2011Cranberry Properties, LlcElectronic mail distribution system for integrated electronic communications
US8036689Mar 23, 2010Oct 11, 2011Apple Inc.Method and apparatus for distributing messages to mobile recipients
US8069144Jun 9, 2010Nov 29, 2011Visto CorporationSystem and methods for asynchronous synchronization
US8135778Apr 27, 2005Mar 13, 2012Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for certifying mass emailings
US8145710Jun 17, 2004Mar 27, 2012Symantec CorporationSystem and method for filtering spam messages utilizing URL filtering module
US8190123Jun 3, 2009May 29, 2012Apple Inc.System for authentication of network usage
US8243636May 6, 2004Aug 14, 2012Apple Inc.Messaging system and service
US8243893Jan 19, 2010Aug 14, 2012Accenture Global Services LimitedCustomer messaging service
US8255359Dec 23, 2009Aug 28, 2012Visto CorporationSystem and methods for asynchronous synchronization
US8271588Sep 24, 2004Sep 18, 2012Symantec CorporationSystem and method for filtering fraudulent email messages
US8271591 *Sep 10, 2007Sep 18, 2012At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.Methods, systems, and products for managing communications
US8280416May 30, 2008Oct 2, 2012Apple Inc.Method and system for distributing data to mobile devices
US8341018Jun 28, 2002Dec 25, 2012At&T Intellectual Property I, L. P.Methods and systems for providing contextual information on communication devices and services
US8352320Mar 11, 2008Jan 8, 2013Apple Inc.Advertising management system and method with dynamic pricing
US8364764Apr 2, 2008Jan 29, 2013At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.Method, system, and apparatus for providing self-destructing electronic mail messages
US8384549Jun 13, 2011Feb 26, 2013Honeywell International, Inc.Event communication system for providing user alerts
US8402102Nov 8, 2010Mar 19, 2013Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for filtering email spam using email noise reduction
US8406792Aug 2, 2007Mar 26, 2013Apple Inc.Message modification system and method
US8407305Nov 21, 2011Mar 26, 2013Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for pushing information from a mobile computer to another device
US8417226Jan 9, 2008Apr 9, 2013Apple Inc.Advertisement scheduling
US8464315Mar 18, 2008Jun 11, 2013Apple Inc.Network invitation arrangement and method
US8473494Dec 22, 2008Jun 25, 2013Apple Inc.Method and arrangement for adding data to messages
US8477786May 29, 2012Jul 2, 2013Apple Inc.Messaging system and service
US8478240Sep 5, 2008Jul 2, 2013Apple Inc.Systems, methods, network elements and applications for modifying messages
US8504419May 28, 2010Aug 6, 2013Apple Inc.Network-based targeted content delivery based on queue adjustment factors calculated using the weighted combination of overall rank, context, and covariance scores for an invitational content item
US8510309Aug 31, 2010Aug 13, 2013Apple Inc.Selection and delivery of invitational content based on prediction of user interest
US8510658Aug 11, 2010Aug 13, 2013Apple Inc.Population segmentation
US8539603 *Jun 1, 2004Sep 17, 2013Privashere AGSystem and method for secure communication
US8560673Dec 16, 2008Oct 15, 2013At&T Intellectual Property I, L. P.Methods, systems and products for presenting information correlated to communications
US8582140Jul 21, 2006Nov 12, 2013Canon Kabushiki KaishaCommunication system and communication apparatus building the system
US8595851May 22, 2008Nov 26, 2013Apple Inc.Message delivery management method and system
US8630883Jun 14, 2010Jan 14, 2014Pitney Bowes Inc.Information delivery system for providing senders with a recipient's messaging preferences
US8640032Aug 31, 2010Jan 28, 2014Apple Inc.Selection and delivery of invitational content based on prediction of user intent
US8671000Apr 17, 2008Mar 11, 2014Apple Inc.Method and arrangement for providing content to multimedia devices
US8676682Jun 11, 2008Mar 18, 2014Apple Inc.Method and a system for delivering messages
US8700613Jan 25, 2008Apr 15, 2014Apple Inc.Ad sponsors for mobile devices based on download size
US8712382Oct 27, 2006Apr 29, 2014Apple Inc.Method and device for managing subscriber connection
US8718237 *Dec 3, 2010May 6, 2014Panasonic CorporationMobile phone with music reproduction function, music data reproduction method by mobile phone with music reproduction function, and the program thereof
US8719091Oct 10, 2008May 6, 2014Apple Inc.System, method and computer program for determining tags to insert in communications
US8725809Nov 30, 2012May 13, 2014At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.Method, system, and apparatus for providing self-destructing electronic mail messages
US8737952Mar 14, 2013May 27, 2014Apple Inc.Advertisement scheduling
US8745048Dec 8, 2010Jun 3, 2014Apple Inc.Systems and methods for promotional media item selection and promotional program unit generation
US8751513Aug 31, 2010Jun 10, 2014Apple Inc.Indexing and tag generation of content for optimal delivery of invitational content
US8799123Apr 28, 2011Aug 5, 2014Apple Inc.Method and a system for delivering messages
US8806207Dec 22, 2008Aug 12, 2014Cocoon Data Holdings LimitedSystem and method for securing data
US20040095237 *Sep 16, 2003May 20, 2004Chen Kimball C.Electronic message delivery system utilizable in the monitoring and control of remote equipment and method of same
US20110077049 *Dec 3, 2010Mar 31, 2011Kenji TagawaMobile phone with music reproduction function, music data reproduction method by mobile phone with music reproduction function, and the program thereof
USRE41940 *Jan 31, 2010Nov 16, 2010Symantec CorporationMethod and apparatus for filtering E-mail
EP1146720A1 *Apr 10, 2001Oct 17, 2001Avaya Technology Corp.Received multiple types of messages are processed and forwarded based upon criteria
EP1302879A1 *Oct 12, 2001Apr 16, 2003Readsoft ABA method and system for delivering a message
EP1515502A1 *Sep 15, 2003Mar 16, 2005Philippe BaumardMethod and system for measuring interest levels of digital messages
EP1584054A2 *Jan 7, 2004Oct 12, 2005PGP CorporationSystem and method for secure and transparent electronic communication
WO2001033370A1 *Oct 31, 2000May 10, 2001Messagehero IncPersonal message management system
WO2001097089A1 *Jun 15, 2001Dec 20, 2001Zixit CorpSecure forwarding system
WO2002001450A2 *Jun 25, 2001Jan 3, 2002Ah Soon GohPeople network communication system
WO2002013031A1 *Aug 3, 2001Feb 14, 2002Uniwis Co LtdApparatus and method for connecting and serving an e-mail using wireless terminal
WO2002017098A1 *Aug 3, 2001Feb 28, 2002Uniwis Co LtdApparatus and method for connecting and serving a data using wireless terminal
WO2002102003A1 *Jun 12, 2002Dec 19, 2002Viloke OyMethod ans system for an e-mail program in a teleworking environment
WO2004100470A1 *May 6, 2004Nov 18, 2004Massone Mobile Advertising SysMessaging system and service
Classifications
U.S. Classification1/1, 455/412.1, 455/413, 707/999.01, 707/999.009
International ClassificationG06Q10/00, H04L12/58, H04M3/53, H04N1/32, H04N1/00, G06F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S707/99939, H04M2203/4536, H04M2203/4509, H04N1/00209, H04L12/585, H04N1/00212, H04L12/5855, H04L51/066, H04M2201/60, H04M2203/301, H04L12/589, H04M3/5307, H04N1/324, H04L51/36, H04N1/00217, H04N2201/0086, H04N1/00214, H04N1/32416, H04M3/53333, H04L51/14, H04L12/5835, G06Q10/107
European ClassificationG06Q10/107, H04N1/00C3G2, H04N1/32F2R2B, H04N1/00C3G3C, H04L51/06B, H04L51/14, H04L12/58U, H04M3/533R, H04L12/58G, H04N1/00C3G, H04M3/53M, H04N1/32F2, H04N1/00C3G3, H04L12/58C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 8, 2011FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
Jul 9, 2007FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Feb 17, 2003FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Feb 20, 2001CCCertificate of correction
Apr 6, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: COMPUSERVE INCORPORATED, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:OWENS, STEPHEN J.H.;FINNEY, MICHAEL S.;SNIDER, MICHAEL L.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:009095/0202;SIGNING DATES FROM 19980109 TO 19980324
Apr 3, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: CRANBERRY PROPERTIES, LLC, VIRGINIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:COMPUSERVE INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:009089/0368
Effective date: 19980131